שרית רוזנבלום
Sarit Rosenblum
Photo: Dana Kopel
The coronavirus ward at Ziv Medical Center in Safed

Is Israel's government mad to reopen everything?

Opinion: While the number of daily infections surges all around the country, the government once again fails to live up to its promise to reopen schools and commerce slowly and carefully in what appears as a bi-polar management of the pandemic

Sarit Rosenblum |
Updated: 02.16.21 , 12:41
The government recently decided to end Israel's third pandemic-induced closure, which helped somewhat to bring down the surging number of daily coronavirus cases in the country.
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  • It also decided on further steps that will allow most businesses, venues and events to reopen under certain conditions.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    מחלקת קורונה בבית חולים בצפת
    מחלקת קורונה בבית חולים בצפת
    The coronavirus ward at Ziv Medical Center in Safed
    (Photo: EPA)
    And yet, the pandemic will not let up and is still raging all around us. At this point, Israel is on the precipice.
    This is not news to all those who took part in the faulty handling of the pandemic and the ensuing, devastating economic crisis. This obviously includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who again failed to stand by his pledge to return us to normalcy in the slowest and safest manner possible.
    The government had only recently approved the reopening of the education system for the youngest children, the effects of which still remains unknown in the fight against the pandemic.
    And yet, ministers again approved the reopening of the economy and the synagogues ahead of the Purim holiday that begins next week.
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    המונים ממתינים בצפיפות בתורים בנתב"ג
    המונים ממתינים בצפיפות בתורים בנתב"ג
    Huge crowds wait at Ben-Gurion Airport to board a flight to Dubai in the midst of the pandemic in December
    (Photo: Yoav Limor)
    Israel is also hosting an international judo competition with hundreds of participants from all over the world, while in the throes of the gravest medical crisis the country has ever known.
    Israel seemingly swings from a state of deep depression caused by the needless deaths of thousands of coronavirus victims, to a state of total euphoria ahead of the reopening of hotels, gyms and the like.
    That is unusual, even for the unstable - some would even say bipolar - government that has been running things over the last year.
    That is why it is important to put our vacation plans on hold, and understand that our situation is dire.
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    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands next to a masked bust of Theodor Herzl
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The rate of infection is still surging, the new and violent variants of the virus have made their way into Israel and are now spreading mainly among the younger population, who we brazenly sent unprotected back to schools and kindergartens.
    Most harrowing though, is the fact that a large slice of the population chooses not to get vaccinated, despite the continuous influx of data that points to the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
    The vaccination centers stand empty as many choose to let the virus that has been killing us continue unabated. This is a decision they will surely regret in the future.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    בית ספר יגאל אלון בגבעתיים
    בית ספר יגאל אלון בגבעתיים
    Children wear masks in class following the third coronavirus lockdown
    (Photo: Amit Huber)
    And as for the Purim festivities, coronavirus czar Prof. Nachman Ash practically begged the public to take precautions, knowing full well we are speeding head-first into a massive epidemiological crisis.
    The people of Israel have proven over the last year that personal responsibility is not their strong suit. If that doesn't change, we will again be forced to celebrate the Passover Seder isolated in our homes.

    First published: 11:17 , 02.16.21
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